Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

Toward a Conservative Environmentalism

Richard Burr (at podium) and other Republican senators announce the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, July 10. (Tom Williams/Contributor/Getty Images)
The new Roosevelt Caucus is a welcome addition to GOP politics

Last July, when House and Senate Republicans came together to unveil the new Roosevelt Conservation Caucus — a bicameral environmentalist initiative named for the Republican president and early conservationist Teddy Roosevelt — it struck many onlookers as odd. Conservatism and conservation aren’t usually thought of as congruent; in fact, for the better part of a half century, many Americans have seen the two as antithetical.

But the formation of the Roosevelt Caucus signaled the beginning of a new era in conservative politics, characterized by a heightened concern for environmental issues such as climate change. The prominent bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in

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